Japan art and Kanō Tanshin (1653-1718)

Japan art Kanō Tanshin (1653-1718)

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The art schools of Kano and Tosa were instrumental in Japan concerning art, aesthetics, and high culture. Kano Tanshin (Morimasa) was born in 1653 and died in 1718. However, despite the longevity of both art schools – a rebellious anti-Kano movement materialized during the Edo Period. Therefore, Tanshin fuses various aspects of both artistic schools alongside his independent thought patterns.

Kano Masanobu (1434–1530) laid the foundation stone of the Kano school of art. Naturally, art and high culture from the Middle Kingdom (China) were instrumental to Masanobu.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says, “Kano Tanshin, was the eldest son of Tan’yū (1602–1674), influential head of the Kano school during the early Edo period, when the school monopolized the patronage of the powerful shoguns.”

The dove on the plum tree above by Tanshin is a stunning piece of art. Aesthetically, it creates a feeling of beauty, peace, nature in unison, order, and tranquility.

In the last art piece, three buffalo are near a quaint stream and by a willow tree. Naturally, from the art angle alone, it highlights the beauty of nature without the traces of humans. However, underpinning the aesthetics are the thought patterns of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

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